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Civil Society

  • Image: Kiborogya women working

    Host communities unhappy with oil companies, says report

    45 % of the respondents said they were facing increasing difficulty in accessing firewood  due to oil activity (Photo: S. Wandera-Kigorobya, Hoima)

    The majority of the communities in the Albertine Region are unhappy with the oil companies operating there, according to findings of a study commissioned by International Alert, an international peace-building NGO.

    When asked if they were “satisfied with the interaction/dialogue with oil companies”, 62 % of the respondents said they were not.  An even bigger proportion (80 %) reported that they were particularly concerned that the oil companies had not released any statement to address any of their concerns. Read More

  • Rtd.Bishop Baker Ocholla

    Corruption a major concern as transparency conference opens in Kampala

    Rtd.Bishop Baker Ocholla (Photo: CM)

    Ugandan delegates attending a two-day Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI) Implementation Conference in Kampala have expressed their worry over government’s apparent reluctance to protect oil revenues from corrupt officials.

    Reacting to the opening speech by Uganda’s junior Minister for Finance in charge of investments, Hon. Aston Kajara, several Ugandan delegates observed that government had not instituted adequate measures to safe guard oil revenue, yet the Public Finance Bill would be tabled soon. Read More

  • Image: Christmas turkey

    So you think you know about oil? And want to be a millionaire?

    For this young man, a bird on the shoulder is worth more than a barrel of oil in the bush (Photo: NY)

    The Oil in Uganda team extends warm, seasonal greetings to all our readers.  Also, to entertain you in between bouts of feasting, we have prepared a little quiz to test your general knowledge of oil  in Uganda and beyond.  Doing the quiz won’t, alas, make you a millionaire, but you may glean some interesting–and some shocking–facts. The answers to the following twenty questions appear at the end of the text—together with a ‘performance assessment’ depending on how many questions you answered correctly. Read More

  • Image: Irene Sekyana

    New leadership for civic oil coalition

    Irene Sekyana, newly elected Chair of CISCO (Photo: NY)

    Transparency and access to information will be the key demands and objectives of the Civil Society Coalition on Oil and Gas (CISCO) under its newly elected Chair, Irene Sekyana.

    “We want to see how the coalition can be broadened out to reach grass roots people in the oil producing areas because they are vulnerable and they will be impacted most by oil and gas development”  Ms. Sekyana told Oil in Uganda.  “We want to reach these people and give them information and then see how they can use that to advocate for having their rights respected—property rights, land rights, environmental rights and social rights.” Read More

  • Museveni lashes civic critics and foreigners, praises oil scientists

    Some MPs and NGOs “acting on behalf of foreign interests” are “trying to cripple and disorient the development of Uganda’s oil sector,” President Yoweri  Museveni told parliament yesterday in a combative address that played strongly to nationalistic sentiment but also proclaimed “science” as the beacon of government policy on oil.

    MPs Theodore Ssekikubo, Wilfred Nuwagaba and Abdu Katuntu were singled out for personal mention and attack in the two-hour presidential address.  “What they are doing is an unforgivable sin. It is sacrilege. To stand here and use the forum of Parliament which I created for you, through sacrificing blood, is unacceptable”  Mr. Museveni  said of the small group of MPs who had voted against the government’s proposals for structuring and regulating the oil industry. Read More

  • Image: ACME prizewinner

    ACME awards oil and gas reporters

    Minister of Finance, Hon. Maria Kiwanuka, presents Patience Atuhaire with a prize for her broadcast report.

    The African Centre for Media Excellence (ACME) has awarded three Uganda journalists and recognised two others for their reporting on the oil and gas industry.

    Patience Atuhaire from the Uganda Radio Network carried the broadcast category prize for her piece Will Ugandan technicians get oil jobs?, while the New Vision’s Gerald Tenywa won the print category for his article How prepared is NEMA for oil waste?

    The Monitor’s Isaac Imaka was the overall runner-up. Read More

  • Image: Greenwatch Community Training Manual

    Buliisa women look to save money—and their environment

    Greenwatch produced this community environmental monitoring guide with support from the Open Society Institute

    WANSEKO VILLAGE, BULIISA DISTRICT: Surrounded by a dozen women and men seated on the bare ground, Mary Nabanja goes through the financial records of her group in a large book, counting each penny of their group savings.

    Nabanja is the chairwoman of the Buliisa Women’s Environmental Protection and Savings Group, based in Wanseko village, some 450 kilometres from Kampala.

    Those who had not yet paid up bring their balances forward, and the meeting turns to the day’s main agenda—environmental protection.

    Richard Kajura, who facilitates the meeting, begins by going through the fauna and flora that their region is proud of—including parks, lakes and rivers and the climate itself. Read More

  • Puppets spread information and, hopefully, peace in Ruwenzori

    FORT PORTAL: Inside a colonial style bungalow, partitioned into several rooms, the largest space is devoted to rows of shelves containing books, magazines and leaflets on petroleum. The library, its staff say, receives about 20 visits a day from people seeking information on Uganda’s newly discovered oil to know what is happening in the oil sector and how to benefit.

    This is the initiative of the Kabarole Research and Resource Centre (KRRC), based in Fort Portal, which has set out to sensitize the people in the Ruwenzori sub-region about Uganda’s newly discovered oil, so they will know how to benefit from the petro dollars while also holding their leaders accountable in use of public resources.

    The centre serves the six districts of Kabarole, Kasese, Bundibugyo, Ntoroko, Kyenjojo, Kamwenge and Kyegegwa, which have a joint population of around 2.5 million people. Read More

  • Image: Buliisa lakeshore

    NGOs encourage Albertine communities to monitor environment

    Buliisa District: Local people in the oil producing areas should be front line monitors of environmental change, say green NGOs (Photo: Stephen Wandera)

    As Uganda moves closer to oil production, a number of civil society organizations are working with communities in the oil-rich areas to help them monitor and mitigate adverse impacts on their environment.

    One such group is the National Association for Professional Environmentalists (NAPE), whose Executive Director, Frank Muramazi, says that as early as 2008 the NGO carried out research in Buliisa, Hoima, Mubende and Kiryandongo districts and found that local citizens were largely ignorant of potential threats to water bodies and environmentally sensitive areas, including national parks and game reserves.

    “If these resources are not exploited sustainably, the local people will eventually lose out,” says Muramazi. Read More

  • Activists dispute improved transparency claim

    Civil society groups have challenged a recent news report on increased transparency in Uganda’s oil sector and repeated their call for the government to publish all oil deals. 

    An article that appeared in The New Vision on June 30 noted in its headline that “Government discloses oil deals.” However, campaigners argue, only limited information—on petroleum royalty rates—has been released to MPs. Read More